A/N: I loved this version of Alice but was truly displeased with the lack of Cheshire Cat. I've had a sick obsession with all things Alice ever since playing American McGee's game, and I LOVED Cheshire in that. So this is the Cheshire scene as I think it should have gone. This is my first solo fic, so please be gentle.
Hatter watched Alice move from the fire to the bed Charlie offered her. His eyes never left her as she made the bed comfortable. He continued watching as she curled up on the bed and pulled her legs tight up against her chest as she wrapped her arms around them. Hatter continued watching her until he was sure she'd fallen asleep.
Getting up from the fire, he looked around the area to try and find a comfortable spot for himself to sleep. Pickings were slim, but he found the most comfortable spot he could. It took awhile for him to fall asleep, but he finally did.
It was a short while later when Alice stirred in the bed. She'd been having a dream. Unable to remember the details, she could remember that Hatter, Charlie and Jack had all been there. Sitting up, she looked around; her eyes immediately finding Hatter. Even though they had argued earlier around the fire, she felt herself trusting him more and more as time went by. He seemed to be the only one that her best interests in mind. She couldn't even say that for herself.
Making up her mind that she needed to find Jack and save him, she got off the bed and headed for the path back into the woods. Before entering the woods, she started to remove her coat. She was getting ready to place it on the ladder by the tree for Hatter to find when she saw an unnatural shadow moving out of the woods.
Pulling the coat into her chest, she found herself backing up from the moving shadow while looking around to find what was making the shadow. Her own movement stuttered when a large grin appeared out of nowhere. Nothing else; just a big toothy grin.
Alice's initial fear was quickly replaced with the urgent need to be away from the floating grin. She starting to move backwards but found herself running into something – or someone – solid. Turning around to see what stopped her retreat, she found herself in Hatter's arms. "He's nothing to fear Alice. Just a bit mad." He whispered, leaning in to her ear. He shrugged, "Well, more than a bit mad."
"What is it?" Alice pushed her body into Hatter's, wanting as much room between herself and the grin.
Before Hatter could respond, Alice received her answer in the form of a cat growing onto the grin. "Alice? So the chatter is true."
"What are you talking about?" Alice asked the cat as he began to prowl closer.
He was larger than the ordinary house cat; closer to the size of a pitbull. His fur was the darkest black with stripes of midnight purple down his tail. He did not look inviting to say the least, but his voice was so becoming. "Word is you're back to finish off the Queen for good."
"Then the word is wrong. I'm here to get my boyfriend and then I'm going home."
"And who's to say you can't make a side journey? It starts with a single step, and may lead you down the same path." Alice just stared at the cat as he began to prowl around the area, familiarizing himself. "Although, you can't expect that playing a game of croquet will get you anywhere this time."
"This time?" Alice questioned. "What do you mean this time? This is the first time I've ever been to Wonderland."
"Dear, dear Alice. Just because you aren't the same girl from 150 years ago, doesn't mean you aren't the same girl standing her now."
"But I am the girl here now!" Alice argued with the cat.
"Which is exactly what I've been trying to say." The cat replied, before climbing up a nearby tree and disappearing into the branches and leaves.
"I warned he was mad." Hatter explained as he looked at a confused Alice.
"Yeah, but how mad is he?" Alice asked, not expecting to receive an answer.
Alice jumped at the sound of the something hitting the ground. "Well, most certainly madder than a Hatter."
"Nice to see you, Chesh." Hatter greeted, tipping his hat down at the boy standing before him.
The boy winked back then bowed to Alice. "Chatter still says she's hear to end the Queen. With that ring on her finger, she might just be able."
"Who are you?" Alice asked, looking at the boy standing there, talking as if he'd already had a discussion with them. He was dressed similar to Hatter, except his clothes lacked color. He wore a black shirt, black leather coat and black pants with dark stripes of purple, as well as a purple tie loosely dangling around his neck.
Running a hand through his short and ruffled hair, "I thought we'd already made acquaintances." He extended his hand to Alice. "I'm Chesh, but sometimes they call me Cheshire Cat." Alice accepted his hand and was surprised at the strength in his grip. "So? Are you willing to take me up on my offer?"
"Offer?" Alice was more confused than ever.
Chesh rolled his eyes. "You're not following along." He turned and looked at Hatter. "Why is she not following?"
Hatter smiled back at his friend. "She's not mad, Chesh. Being unmad makes it hard to follow you sometimes."
"Well, if she thinks she's unmad, then she must be wrong. For if she's in Wonderland, she's got to be mad; and to think you're not mad when you are mad, is certainly mad." Chesh grinned again, wide and toothy. Hatter smiled along with him. Turning his attention back to Alice, Chesh looked at her pointedly, "Follow?"
"Not at all." Alice replied, moving once again closer to Hatter.
"Translation please." Chesh looked at Hatter with hope in his eyes.
Cocking his head, Hatter gave Chesh a defeated look the turned to Alice. "He's hoping you'll help out a bit and take out the Queen. Seeing is that's the only reason Alice would ever arrive in Wonderland." Hatter rolled his eyes and turned to look at Chesh. "And what's in it for her?"
Chesh grinned again, "I'll keep it simple, so she can understand. Take down the Queen and you'll get your Jack."
Alice's eyes lit up at the sound of his name. "You can promise that"
"A promise I can't make, cause the means just aren't there. It's no guarantee he'll have you back."
Alice looked to Hatter, who sighed. "That means he'll try his best."
"I'll do it." Alice looked right at Cheshire.
Another grin and Chesh began to walk towards the woods. "Mad March is setting a trap. He's expected two, but a third might throw him. We have to make time if we're going to catch him."
Alice asked for a few minutes to ready herself while Hatter and Chesh waited by the woods. Walking around a bit she finally made her way to the Red King in order to "hide" the ring.
"I'm ready." She said, appearing next to Hatter and looking at Chesh.
"To catch a hare is an easy thing, but to find a mad one, he'll expect a ring." Chesh looked at Alice and then headed into the woods.
"He is crazy." Alice turned to Hatter.
"Not crazy, just extremely mad." Hatter started to follow Chesh, but found himself pleasantly surprised to find Alice grabbing his hand as they walked into the woods.
Finding the open clearing quite quickly, Chesh walked out in front with Hatter and Alice closely behind. "Riddle me this. Riddle me that. Who wants to play a game with the big fat cat?" He seemed to be questioning the air, but it became obvious he wasn't when Mad March and the suits appeared in the clearing as well.
"Cheshire?" Mad March asked in his New York accent as he approached the threesome.
Chesh chuckled, "Last time we met, it wasn't the Queen who said off with his head."
Mad March's head twisted at the memory of their last meeting. "I'm only here for the girl. You and the hat will be my own little bonus."
Chesh grinned slightly, not as widely as he was known. "Twinkle, twinkle, I'm a cat. Now you'll wonder where we're at." Without a second thought, Chesh grabbed Hatter's hand and the two disappeared into thin air, leaving only the outline of a grin behind.
From the safety of the woods, Hatter and Chesh watched as Mad March and the suits took Alice. "That was your big plan?" Hatter asked, looking at the cat sitting next to him.
"You'll have to head for the Queen's Casino."
"That's suicide." Hatter replied.
"She'll need help, and you'll need to go where they won't expect."
"To the casino it is."
"Or off with your head." Hatter turned and watched as the cat disappeared, again leaving the outline of a grin before that too disappeared.